Holiday Shopping Season

While appealing to emotional desires for more stuff we do not need, corporate bottom lines do not want you to realize how close to the fiscal cliff we really are.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Illegal aliens head back home as they find economy in Mexico better than in the US

In a new report from the Pew Hispanic Center on April 23rd, illegal aliens and legal migrant workers left the US in numbers higher than those who crossed the Rio Grande coming into the country.  It was the first time in 15 years that this has happened, and provides a huge barometer against the myth that America's economy is getting better.


Political cartoon courtesy of Daryl Cagle

The largest wave of immigration in history from a single country to the United States has come to a standstill. After four decades that brought 12 million current immigrants —more than half of whom came illegally—the net migration flow from Mexico to the United States has stopped—and may have reversed, according to a new analysis by the Pew Hispanic Center of multiple government data sets from both countries.
The standstill appears to be the result of many factors, including the weakened U.S. job and housing construction markets, heightened border enforcement, a rise in deportations, the growing dangers associated with illegal border crossings, the long-term decline in Mexico’s birth rates and changing economic conditions in Mexico. - Pew Hispanic Center



In the end, does this speak MORE on immigration polices, or the fact that America's economy is not looking very good going forward?  For all the pundits who tout the stock markets, but fail to address jobs, small businesses, and the decrease in consumer spending, these analysts continue to live in an ivory tower fantasy land that even they will soon have to wake up to face reality.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Lost Boys: foreclosures have evicted 2.3 million children with more on the way

Most economic analysts point to the millions of families that have been uprooted through foreclosure since the bursting of the Housing bubble in 2008, but very few have looked into the impacts of the children who have seen their lives change, and what the future holds for them as they continue to grow up.


Five years into the foreclosure crisis, many American families with children continue to lose their homes through foreclosure. An estimated 2.3 million children in single-family homes have already lost their homes to foreclosure, and even more – 3.0 million children – are at serious risk of losing their homes in the future. Another three million or so children may face eviction from rental properties that undergo foreclosure, suggesting that more than 8 million children are directly affected by the ongoing foreclosure crisis (see Figure 1). As single-family and rental properties continue to enter foreclosure, children face not just the loss of their homes, but also the risk of losing friends and falling behind academically if they are forced to switch neighborhoods and schools.

Children Affected by Foreclosures
Children are the often invisible victims of the foreclosure crisis. Mortgage records do not tell how many children are in owner-occupied homes, and it is even harder to estimate the number of children in rental properties. Yet foreclosure affects not just the homeowner or landlord, but also the children living in the foreclosed properties. This brief combines state-by-state estimates on foreclosures with Census Bureau data on the living arrangements of families with children to generate estimates of the numbers of children affected by the mortgage crisis. It also synthesizes research bearing on the negative effects of foreclosure on children’s schooling and overall well-being and outlines some possible policy responses. -
Brookings Institute





"If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered."

Escape from California (Before it's too late)

The once breathtaking and economic marvel known as the state of California, which boasted the 8th largest GDP in the world, has become a cesspool of liberal ideologies, anti-business sentiment, and a psychopathic montage of finding new ways to screw their citizens.



In a breakdown of the decline of the state of California, the End of the American Dream broke down 16 different areas where Californians are running out of time to either escape from the coming disaster, or be consumed by it.

We will post just a few of the reasons here.



#2 California Is A Horrible Place To Do Business

For seven years in a row, CEOs ranked California as the worst place in the United States to do business. Thousands of good companies have left the state in recent years, and yet California lawmakers continue to pile on more rules, regulations and taxes.

#5 Desperate Municipalities Are Severely Slashing Government Services All Over The State
When you have no more money, you have to start cutting somewhere. In many cities in California, government services are being curtailed dramatically. Just check out what is going on in Costa Mesa....

Costa Mesa, a city of 110,000 south of Los Angeles, has slashed its payroll from 611 to 450. It is selling its police helicopters and has hired a neighboring city for air patrols. It's also pursuing a controversial effort to convert to a charter city from a general law city, which would give City Hall more power to outsource more work, said councilman Jim Righeimer.

 #7 California Has Some Of The Highest Tax Rates In The Nation
The last thing many California taxpayers want to hear is that taxes might be raised again. Californians already get absolutely hammered by taxes. California has one of the highest state income tax rates in the nation, one of the highest sales tax rates in the nation and the highest gasoline tax rate in the nation.

Unfortunately, it is only a matter of time before the politicians come around for even more.

#8 Poverty Is Absolutely Exploding In California
Once upon a time, California was viewed as a land of great opportunity.

Now it is a land of crushing poverty in many areas.

Sadly, the number of children living in poverty in the state of California has increased by a staggering 30 percent since 2007.

In addition, 60 percent of all students attending California public schools now qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches.

#11 California Has Some Of The Worst Schools In The Nation
Many families are moving away from California because the public schools are absolutely nightmarish. The truth is that California has some of the worst schools in the entire nation. In the late 70s, California was number one in per-pupil spending on education, but now the state has fallen to 48th place.

#14 California Has One Of The Worst Health Care Systems In America
All over California, hospitals are shutting down. A big reason for this is because of the massive numbers of poor people and illegal aliens that are taking advantage of "free" medical care at hospital emergency rooms. A number of good hospitals have been forced to shut down in recent years and now the state of California ranks dead last out of all 50 states in the number of emergency rooms per million people.

When corrupt and liberal politicians are allowed to run wild over a city and state government, the results are inevitable.  Detroit, New Orleans, Cleveland, and now, the entire state of California.

As oil prices drop, don't expect gas prices to fall as inflation rules over supply and demand

There is an interesting dichotomy in the energy retail markets as oil prices have fallen since their highs in March, but gasoline prices in both Europe and the US have stayed the same, or increased.  Fundamentally, it's no longer a question of supply and demand as the talking head pundits keep telling us, but rather, it is the result of inflation that is finally rearing its head to consumers, contrary to Bernanke's bloviating.

Wholesale gasoline futures are down around 8% from their late March peak. This follows the late February peak in WTI crude prices. Joseph Brusuelas of Bloomberg's Economics Brief today asks whether this signals a peak in retail gas prices - which are up around 20% this year. In a very similar seasonal and monetary cycle manner to last year, energy prices are rolling over but will retail follow again this time as it did before. For sure this would provide direct releif to households, as Brusuelas notes, that have seen average hourly earnings decline for 13 consecutive months. The typical lag is 2-4 weeks before wholesale improvements start showing up in retail prices and while we wait with baited breath for that spending relief, we note that at the same time, the average price of gasoline in Europe just broke back above $10 per gallon (equivalent) to its highest in almost a year showing no signs of retracing at all. -  Zerohedge




Charts courtesy of Bloomberg

And with the summer driving season just around the corner, the staycation may be the place to hang out for people looking to relieve their stresses, and not add to it each time they go to fill their tanks.

Government promises: food stamp growth over job growth

The US food stamp program is based on criteria that gives money towards individuals and families that live below certain economic scales.  This includes those who might even have a job(s).

However, the crux is that growth in food stamp recipients is expected to rise through 2014 according to a new CBO projection, and this shows evidence that the government doesn't really believe there will be any new substantial job growth for Americans over the next two years.


Chart courtesy of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)

The Congressional Budget Office said Thursday that 45 million people in 2011 received Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, a 70% increase from 2007. It  said the number of people receiving the benefits, commonly known as food stamps, would continue growing until 2014.
Spending for the program, not including administrative costs, rose to $72 billion in 2011, up from $30 billion four years earlier. The CBO projected that one in seven U.S. residents received food stamps last year.

In a report, the CBO said roughly two-thirds of jump in spending was tied to an increase in the number of people participating in the program, which provides access to food for the poor, elderly, and disabled. It said another 20% “of the growth in spending can be attributed to temporarily higher benefit amounts enacted in the” 2009 stimulus law. - blog.wsj.com

Yet, the SNAP food stamp program is broken, as seen here where Atlanta prison inmates bragged about how much food they accumulated behind bars using a EBT card they lawfully got from government agencies.



And we wonder why the Budget deficit is over $150 billion per month, and showing no signs of slowing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Investment Research firm shows that todays government reports are worthless

Charles Biderman of the Investment Research firm TrimTabs created a blog video on April 16th in which he shows how government reports from the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) are worthless to investors and the markets, and that the mainstream media is ignorant in how they try to portray these manipulated reports as a sign of a recovering economy.




In today's markets, we will take a line from the computer gaming world to describe reports, recovery, and government propaganda in economic data.

All of your money R belong to us!

Former Mexican President seeks legalizing drugs as an alternative to endless war

The war on drugs has ultimately been a failure for its original mission, but it has been a boon to the cartels, prison system, and law enforcement agencies who have all expanded since the United States began dedicating resources to it.  On both sides of the fence, the argument rages over the economic impact of drugs and drug use if it is ever legalized, and on April 16th, a major figure in the history of the war on drugs made his choice on which choice should be made.



President Vicente Fox is among a growing number of leaders in Latin America calling on the U.S. to legalize drugs to reduce violence and organized crime.
"Prohibitions don't work, and the last remaining frontier of prohibition is drug, and we should questions ourselves why drugs," Fox said.

It's the same question President Barack Obama will hear from some of the leaders gathered at the Summit of the Americas this weekend in Colombia during talks about drug policies in the region.

"This war on drugs is totally lost," said Fox, the former president, during an interview at his sprawling ranch, where he built the first presidential library in Mexico. - Kens5.com

History in the 20th and 21st century shows that hard core drug users will take the substances legal or not, and those that simply want a recreational fix will do so in a responsible manner.  Holland and other European countries that legalized drugs, continue to have drug abuse problems, but they spend their money primarily on rehibilitation over incarceration, and have less criminality than in nations that spend billions each year for an epidemic that is growing, not shrinking.
Legalizing drugs now has a big time backer, and when former Mexican President Vincente Fox believes that ending the war on drugs is the best way to dissolve the epidemic, then his opinion carries massive weight since he used to be on the front lines of the problem.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Food prices continue to be manipulated in speculative and criminal ways

Even as the talking head known as the Bernank continues to lie through his teeth about inflation and rising prices, a solid interview was done on April 13th by The Real News.  Inevitably, you will find that mass speculation and criminal control over food and energy are being paid for by you and other citizens at the market.





Even as commodity brokers keep telling you that commodities are bad investments, they are using the lower prices to buy up all physical assets they can, and making you pay with lower competition and higher prices.

Bix Weir hangs JP Morgan out to dry on silver manipulation

Economic analyst Bix Weir wrote a very informational and evidentially sound piece on how the government and JP Morgan manipulate the silver market to the tune of $Billions per year.  In fact, if regular market forces were allowed to work, the current price of silver on paper could look like $8250 per ounce.



When the computer rigging programs were implemented there needed to be some kind of cover to ensure secrecy and maintain a false confidence in free markets. In 1974 Congress passed the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Act that overhauled the Commodity Exchange Act and created the CFTC as an independent agency with powers greater than those of its predecessor agency, the Commodity Exchange Authority.

From that moment the CFTC has been run by board appointees that showcased a revolving door of Wall Street insiders ensuring that the computer market rigging operations were not interfered with. The only notable exception is Brooksley Born who was fired by President Clinton when she found out the truth about our supposed "free markets" and tried to warn everyone. (see The Warning)

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/warning/view/

http://www.investmentrarities.com/ted_butler_comentary09-02-08.shtml

Since this report was published JP Morgan has continued its silver market rigging antics in an effort to get out of this precarious short position. After Butler exposed JPM as the culprit there have been wild orchestrated swings in the price of silver as JPM attempts to cover their massive COMEX short position. The price of silver has risen from $13 to currently over $30 in this time frame and the size of the short position held by JP Morgan has gyrated wildly between 30k and 40k contracts as they desperately try to shake the longs to cover their shorts. But even with this rise in price the short position is STILL around 20k contracts according to the CFTC's latest Bank Participation Report.

Here's where I get to $8,250 per oz for silver.

1) I know silver has not been freely traded in 40 years so today's price if irrelevant.

2) I, like many, estimate there is only about 1B ounces in above ground physical silver for investment purposes.

3) I, like many, estimate there is only 5B ounces of above ground physical gold for investment purposes.

4) If the price of gold is not manipulated, like the banks claim, then the price of silver should be 5x the price of gold due to its supply/demand fundamentals.

CONCLUSION: The price of gold is around $1,650/oz so the true Fair Market Value of Silver should be around 5x the price of gold or $8,250/oz in a FREE market! - Road to Roota.com

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tax raising by the government will not increase revenues but only lower GDP

Professor Antony Davies is back, and brings logic and facts to the ongoing debate over tax the rich economics.  In his easily followed video, the economic model in America validates that raising or lowering taxes increases the amount of revenue the government receives only slightly, whether the rich are taxed the current 35%, or the 90% they were stifled with just 60 years ago.


Picture courtesy of Progressive Think.com

However, what does change is economic growth, and the amount of money the worker has to improve their standard of living.  By decreasing overall GDP and growth when you tax corporations and the rich who actually create jobs, the PERCENT of revenues by the government remains the same, while actual revenue itself decreases.  Subsequently, the opposite happens when you lower taxes, as GDP growth creates a larger pie for the government to receive more money.



So you see, the argument that Obama, Buffett, and all other Marxist/Socialist/Progressives make when calling for higher taxes on the rich, is simply a process of class warfare and NOT a means to increase revenues to balance the budget, or lower the deficit.

In the scope of progressivism and marxism, it isn't about raising up people to be equal, but about bringing everyone else equally down.  Equal and poor, not equal and wealthy.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Pension funds dropping as companies unable to pay into retirement accounts

The Financial Time (FT) today came out with a new report on how underfunded business and company pensions are for many workers they have contracts with.  With sales and profit margins falling dramatically during the past 2 years, not only have major companies cut the amount they donate towards these funds, but many small businesses have stopped funding plans altogether.

The shortfall in US labor union pension funds is huge and growing rapidly. The latest data, from 2009, from the PBGC showed that these multi-employer plans were 48% underfunded with $331bn of assets to support $686bn of liabilities - and it has hardly been a good ride for those asset values since then. Critically, as the FT notes today, recent changes by FASB has enabled Credit Suisse to estimate shortfalls more accurately and it paints an ugly picture. - Zerohedge



Data courtesy of FT

To date, the government and corporate world have been able to hold off anger in the public sphere, even as the continuing high unemployment rates have not been addressed since 2008.  However, should the stock markets fall, and pension and retirement accounts continue to drop to dangerous levels, then the reaction by unions and workers expecting this money to survive after their working years will make the Wisconsin union battle seem like a playground shoving match.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Ghost of Reagan schools Obama on economics

For a lighter, yet educational look at how former President Reagan would look at the current Socialist in Chief Barack Obama if he were alive today, and his ghost was haunting the White House, we present this video for your viewing pleasure.

Thanks to Conservideo for all their hard work.

Buying Greece: EBAY auction could net you entry into Eurozone

There are two vastly important questions to ask regarding a current EBAY auction running today.  How much could I buy Greece for, and why would anyone want to?  Those questions of course, like how mega million winners will have to deal with a vastly different lifestyle, could be yours for the right bid and you don't even need to be one of the 99%ers to win.

*Disclaimer - Ebay Auction to sell Greece may or may not be valid under international law


Some of the questions the seller answered in response to the auction.


Q: Is it possible to bundle your sale with Iceland? I would consider a package deal!
A: I'm sorry to tell you,but Iceland is in much better condition than Greece.  

Q: I was wondering if you would be able to combine shipping with any future eurozone countries (i.e. Italy) you may have for sale. Also, would the sea between the islands be included or excluded in the package? Thank you for... Continue reading
A: I can arrange a big discount for any future transactions.

Q: Hi. I am very interested. However, I need your assurances that before I bid, you will exclude all corrupt banks, Goldman Sachs cronies, JP Morgan criminals, and the rest of the Draghi / ECB ex-Goldmanite corrupt insider... Continue reading
A: Greece doesn't need any of those to be f****d up :) As you can see, the offer includes our whole parliament! 300 of our finest politicians!

Q:  Hi. Is it possible to deport Zeus before auction ends? To USA for example.
A: I'm afraid of the other god's wrath. They might feel insulted,i cannot take any chance! I hope that you can understand my concerns.

Q: Hi. I would like to have this land mass shipped closer to home here, but there seems to be far too many bits and pieces. Are you able to compact it all together into one single parcel for shipping? I'm sure it'll be... Continue reading
A: Hmmm... You may have a point here my friend. But i'm afraid that they may broke, they are way too fragile in order to pack them one on top of the other. Maybe teleportation can work! ;)


Happy bidding, and may the interest rates be ever in your favor!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Man in Greece commits suicide in front of Parliament over debt measures

Greece is now experiencing their own 'Arab Spring', but this one is starting off with a bang... literally.  An elderly man who determined he was at the point of no longer being able to pay off debts and did not wish to scrounge through garbage cans for food as half the population is already doing, shot himself in public, and right in from of the very Parliament building that sold the Greek people for a Euro central bank bailout.


Picture courtesy of Newsbeast.gr

...a 77 year old Greek has killed himself in broad daylight on Athens' symbolic and inappropriately named Syntagma square to protest the "occupier government" and not wanting to be a burden to his child. As Kathimerini reports, "an elderly man committed suicide on Friday morning in Syntagma Square in Athens, in front of Parliament. Some reports said witnesses claimed the man shouted «I don't want to leave debts to my children,» before he shot himself in the head. - Zerohedge

With Americans now at the 45% level of reliance on the government for food, how long until the economic pressures of our high unemployment and growing debt bubbles in cities and in Washington will move the people here to protest in ways that could pale to the Greeks and the Arabs.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Food Stamp usage remains at record levels for Americans on welfare

January brought another month of reports on government welfare and benefits, and while there wasn't a large climb in new claims for food stamps and SNAP programs, usage of this program remains at all-time record levels for Americans.

And while the actual number of recipients declined by a whisper, the number of households actually receiving benefits increased to a new record of 22.2 million. Lastly, the average monthly benefit per household slide to a multi-year low of $277.27. - Zerohedge




Obama mentor Bill Ayers protests in NYC against Capitalism

Contrary to the rhetoric and spin of Obama handlers like David Axlerod, the history of Barack Obama shows that not only was he a friend and neighbor of radical leftist Bill Ayers, but Ayers was a strong mentor for Obama's Marxist policies today.

Over the weekend, Bill Ayers was in NYC protesting against Capitalism, and to prove that nothing has changed with the anti-American radical, he says in this video clip that he "wakes up every morning thinking on how he can end capitalism."




The Obama legacy continues... in the White House and on the streets of America.

Bankruptcy filed for the makers of Pink Slime food additive

Sometimes, there is justice and karma in the wide wide world.  Approximately a week after the mainstream media reported on the intrusion of the food additive known by its slang term 'pink slime' into a large portion of the American food supply, its corporate maker, AFA Foods, is declaring bankruptcy.



In the first of two major bankruptcy stories du jour (the next one coming up shortly), we learn that AFA Foods, best known for being the maker of "pink slime", and a portfolio company of labor unions and Clinton afficionado Ron Burkle and his PE firm Yucaipa, has just filed for bankruptcy. The reason? The sudden public realization what pink slime is, and just how prevalent it is - perhaps it is best to think of it as the Bernie Madoff of the food industry - it was always there, yet it took a wholesale shift in public awareness and consciousness for the firm to realize it would have been prudent to come up with a slightly different name for its ground-beef product. As for whether or not the company is going to the pink sheets, well no. But one thing is certain: the management team is about to get a pink slip. - Zerohedge